Anthony and Micky, were packed and away nice and early on Saturday morning. The weather had changed dramatically, with high winds and it was becoming increasingly wet by the minute. Perfect carp fishing weather for Molyneux !!
We were due three anglers on this coming week, and two of them soon arrived, brothers, Russell and Paul Bowles from Basingstoke. After a wander round the lake, they generously decided to wait until the last angler arrived to see where he wanted to fish. A short while later he did arrive, John a more senior angler was brought over by his daughter and son in law. They had originally planned to stay in our cabin, but it had already been booked by the Bowles brothers, so they were now staying in a small comfy Gite in the next village which I managed to find for them.
The cabin is now proving to be very popular, and is booking up much more than ever before, so anyone thinking of bringing their better half, which more and more anglers are now doing, or wanting a little more luxury than their bivvy affords should think about booking as soon as they are able to avoid disappointment.
Once John had looked around he decided to spend the week in Jacks. Paul then decided upon the cabin, whilst Russell chose the boat swim, due to it being fairly close by. I handed out the bait that I had prepared for them all, and the brothers decided to have some Rahja spice boilies plus pop-ups as they have been so popular on the lake this year accounting for so many fish.
They all went off to set up for the week, and Paul not having a bivvy to set up and organise was soon getting the rods ready and a short while later he was to land the first fish of the week. It was a tench of about 5lb’s but catching it within a few hours of arriving gave him a real confidence boost.
I shot Russell out in the boat and showed him one or two spots in front of him, and told him not to ignore the margin close by the overhanging willows to his right. It was just in front of this willow that he hooked his first cap from at around 5.30pm that afternoon. After a good scrap, he slid the fish over the draw cord to see a serious lump in the net. On the scales it went 35lb’s exactly. What a start!
Around 90 minutes later one of his other spots near to the island came into its own as that rod tore off too. Again a hard plodding fight followed, and yet another large fish was finally netted. Unbelievably it was another of exactly 35lb’s. Two carp of 35lb’s and he hadn’t been fishing for three hours. During the early evening Paul in the cabin lost a fish early into the fight.
At 10pm Russell added to his tally with a 20lb mirror, and a short while later landed a 20lb catfish, before reeling in for the night and getting his head down, the journey having taken its toll.
The following morning saw all the anglers up bright and early after all had reeled in for the night and got some sleep. John in Jacks was first away, like Paul his first fish was to be a tench of around 5lb’s.
10am and Russell was away again, a large fish picked up from the island, giving him an almighty tussle. Once again, Paul shot down to help him and shortly afterwards slid the net under another chunky mirror. I almost had to check their scales were right as this one spun the needle around to the 35lb mark. Russell was overjoyed, as he had never caught fish like this before.
At 2.30pm it was Pauls turn to call for help, and Russell duly went to help. Help was most definitely needed as Paul had hooked a Grasscarp… and a big one!
After playing it out in the water as I ask all the anglers to do, he finally netted it and hoisted it onto the scales where it weighed in at 38lb’s.
At 4pm Russell was in again, this time landing a 27lb mirror. An hour later he landed another for his brother a cracking mirror of 34lb 8oz.
9 pm saw Russell catch a 34lb Grasscarp, and then whilst doing the photos heard his brother alarms going off again. In his rush to the cabin Paul, pulled or tore a ligament in the back of his leg, which was to cause him some serious problems for the rest of the week. He managed to land the fish which had caused him to run though, another 35lb mirror. The week was going incredibly. Again after a busy day the brothers called it a night and got their heads down. John in Jacks had already done so, reeling in and settling down for the night each evening as it got dark.
The following morning Paul was in some serious pain with his leg and so decided not to fish, but to ghillie for his brother for a day or so, to see if it improved. With no lines in the water I took the boat down to Jacks to help John out a little. He was yet to catch a carp, and as he could only cast a very short distance was severely limiting his chances. I took his rigs and some bait out a little further and lowered them onto some spots I knew.
At 11am, Russell was away again, this time a 24lb Grasscarp, at 12.30, he landed another good mirror weighing in at 33lb 4oz. Then John in Jacks had two fish in fairly quick succession, the first a 24lb 12oz mirror, the second a 29lb 8oz mirror. The spots were working. I took them out again for him and he set himself for hopefully another fish. At 5pm, Russell landed another Grasscarp of 24lb 8oz. At 7pm John landed his second 24lb 12oz mirror of the day, he then called it a night and reeled in for the night. 7.30 saw Russell land another Grasscarp this one 22lb, this was followed at 10pm by yet another at 31lb. At 11pm he landed a 20lb catfish, and his brother still struggling with his leg called it a night, resulting in all rods being reeled in and a good night’s sleep for all.
The following day John was to catch first with a 24lb mirror, Russell was next with another Grasscarp of 30lb 6oz. A short while later he landed a mirror of 26lb 8oz, whilst at almost the same time Paul in the cabin, who had decided to give it a go today despite the state his leg was in, was landing a small tench.
4pm saw Paul land a 27lb 8oz catfish. 9.30pm saw him land a cracking mirror of 36lb’s. Russell topped this at 11pm when he landed a 37lb mirror, followed by a small catfish at midnight. The brothers had decided that Paul would reel in tonight as he was still unsteady on his feet, and the days angling had taken its toll. Russell was going to fish a little later, and at 1am he caught a 13lb 8oz common, followed by a 34lb catfish at 2am. After this he reeled in for the night.
The following afternoon after a trip to town, Paul caught a 27lb mirror at 4.30pm, which Russell followed at 5pm with another Grasscarp, this one of 31lb 8oz. Again, nobody fished through the night.
Next morning, and Paul, or hop-along as he was affectionately called landed a mirror of 32lb. Then at 2pm John landed the fish we had all been hoping for his first ever thirty pound carp. It was a beauty as well when it finally came. A mirror of 33lb 12oz, a moment I was very pleased to share with him.
Things seemed to have slowed up a little for Russell in the boat swim, hardly surprising after the number of fish he had caught. With Paul struggling to walk at all now they decided that they would both move down into the barn swim and Russell would fish whilst Paul would sit and relax and help with any fish caught. Russell, being so close now to the lake record of 23 carp and cats caught in a week set earlier in the season by Sean Jessieman, was keen to try to scrape over the line. That evening at 5.30pm he caught a 22lb mirror, and then he caught three more in quick succession. A 32lb 12oz mirror and an 18lb catfish, followed 10 minutes later by a 23lb Grasscarp. He had done it with 24 fish under his belt a new lake record for the amount of fish caught during a single week. The guys retired to the cabin, and after a few beers enjoyed a good night’s sleep in the comfort of proper beds.
The following day was to prove very slow, and the first and only fish of the day fell to Russell’s rods, a 8lb mirror, taking his total to a staggering 25 fish, having only fished during the day and reeling in around midnight, at the very latest each night.
Once again the Quest boilies had done the business, most of our big hits this year have come using Quest boilies, a combination of their undoubted quality as a bait plus of course the amount the fish see on a regular basis which certainly helps as they recognise them instantly as a food source and they are accepted readily.
John in Jacks had achieved his goal of a thirty pound carp, and was very pleased with his weeks fishing.
All in all an exciting and productive week all round. The brothers left nice and early, with Paul’s leg now lovely shades of yellow and purple and looking very sore indeed. John’s daughter Louisa came in around mid-morning and helped him pack down and after a cup of tea they left to make their way back to the gite where they were staying another night.
All in all a cracking week’s fishing, and some real chuckles along the way.
French carp lakes – Molyneux